Those of us who love dogs know that sometimes dog behavior is super confusing for humans. In this post, we’ll let experts weigh in and explain some interesting dog behavior.
Our family has two of the sweetest, cutest, most loving dogs ever. There is Sully, a Giant Schnauzer. He’s large and in charge and smart as a whip. Our girl Sunday is a Golden Doodle and she is the princess. We all agree. She’s precious to the 10th degree.
We’ve always been a “pet family.” Cats and dogs have been our fur babies and companions forever. Our kids have been raised with pets. There have been shelter animals and a few purebred babies as well. We love them so much, but they do things we don’t understand. Here’s what we’ve learned!
Strange Dog Behavior Explained
Remember, their behavior is only strange to humans. And by the way, please talk to your vet about anything that concerns you. (If you’re a hardcore puppy lover, take a peek at this cutie-pie shirt!)
Why do dogs kick their feet when they poop?
We’ve all seen it, right? They look like bulls kicking their feet. Turns out it’s about scent and showing their ownership of whatever property on which they do their doo.
They want to kick that poop scent into high gear to warn others dogs, “Step off! I own this.” Additionally, they have glands in their feet that admit pheromones which make the scent all the more powerful. In short, they aren’t messing around when it comes to marking what’s theirs.
They are communicating with all other dogs who come around. They are leaving a note about their sexual availability, food trails and even warnings of danger. (source)
Why do dogs chew on themselves?
Because it feels like sweet relief! Have you ever had a spot that’s driving you nuts? Same with them.
It could be totally normal and nothing to get too excited about. Or, it could also be anything from boredom to soreness, to itchy skin, to fleas. If you see any red, irritated spots, or a loss of fur where they are biting and licking, a vet visit is smart. (source)
Why does my dog seem to go suddenly deaf when I call him in from the yard?
We all know a dog’s nose and sense of smell is better than ours, but it’s hard to fathom HOW much better.
If your fur baby ignores you outside, they aren’t being somehow disrespectful. If you see their nose to the ground, they are “taking in all the information they can.”
“To a dog, smelling is knowing, and his response to this information is instantaneous and instinctive.” (source)
Do not underestimate your dog’s nose. Understand it and be patient.
Why does my dog have tears in his eyes? Is he sad?
As much as we tell ourselves something different, dogs can’t cry for emotional reasons. If you see what looks like watery eyes, or “tears,” you should probably see the vet. Of course, it could be just something aggravating the eye and it’ll go away in short order. Otherwise, call the vet. (source)
Why does my dog eat poop?
It’s all about the protein. He needs it, and he wants it, and apparently does not care one iota about what humans have to say about it. It’s a survival mechanism that goes back to their ancestors. They scavenge for food. (Learn more here.)
Why does my dog hate other dogs?
Well, are the other dogs a pain in the ass? LOL.
It’s likely because they didn’t have enough “nice” socialization with other dogs during the formative time before 3 months. And, if they are raised only around people, other dogs might actually freak them out.
Why does my dog bark at his reflection?
He (or she) sees a strange animal standing there, but there is absolutely no doggie smell coming from it. Some experts like it to you seeing a ghost. (source)
Why does my dog lick my face?
Lots of reasons. (source)
1. It’s instinctive and goes all the way back to their ancestors.
2. It’s social. It shows a dog’s “…social deference. It can also be a signal to solicit food, more social information, a sign of affection or to solicit attention.”
3. They are grooming you because they love you. It’s a sign of affection.
4. When dogs lick the face of children, it can be a sign of affection, appeasement or simply the act of cleaning food residue off their faces.
There you have it!
What we consider to be weird dog behavior is actually pretty easy to understand once you know what is motivating your dog.
Have you lost a pet you loved like family?
God bless. We know how incredibly painful it is because we’ve experienced it. The death of a pet is awful, awful, awful. They are in our hearts always and forever.
Sher Bailey is a writer in the Midwest who believes the power of humor, Mod Podge, and grandkids can fix most problems in life. You can find her at SherBailey.com.